Consider This

Robert Stevenson’s Thoughts on the Pursuit of Excellence

Sometimes Bad Happens

December 12, 2021

by Robert Stevenson

There is NO immunity to having problems. Successful and/or good people have problems, issues, and complications. “Bad” has no boundaries; bankruptcy, failure, mistakes, wrong decisions, setbacks, illness, poor choices, gaffes, errors, slip-ups, disappointments, and blunders can happen to anyone. They aren’t immune to any of these things and having a great attitude doesn’t protect them from having bad things happen to them, either; that “myth” is a total misnomer.

Having a great attitude just HELPS YOU GET OVER THE BAD THINGS that happen to you. Success is all about being able to deal with whatever is thrown at you. No one is exempt from having bad things happen to them. The difference between those who succeed from those who don’t has a great deal to do with if and how they BOUNCE back when things go wrong.

Marilyn Monroe had an interesting way of looking at bad things. She said, “Sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can fall together.” Don’t shut down, become stressed or depressed, close the book, when bad things happen in your life … just turn the page and begin a new chapter.

GREAT NEWS: Your record for getting through the tough times in life, so far, is 100%. This should comfort you to know that you will get through tough times. You are stronger and more resilient than you give yourself credit for. Regardless, if it takes a week, a month, or a year, you will get through difficult times. I have found that the statement, “This, too, will pass” is true.

While you may not be able to control what happens to you, you can most certainly control your behaviors. You can face the worst things in the world, but if you make the choice not to let yourself be affected by them, you won’t be. When something bad happens to you, know that you always have three choices on how to react.

  • You can let it define you
  • You can let it destroy you
  • You can let it strengthen you

It seems to me #3 is your best choice. Use “the bad thing” and the insights you have gained from “it” to drive your life forward in another direction. Sometimes we need bad things to happen, to “rattle our cage”, wake us up, grab our attention, to help us change and grow. Our life is not determined by what happens to us … it is determined by how we react to what happened. When bad things happen, we need to find a way to laugh through the confusion and smile through our tears.

Quit asking, “Why did this happen?”… “Why me?” … “What did I do to deserve this?”... “Did I do something to cause it?” We need to understand that the universe doesn’t care that we wrecked the car, a broken water pipe flooded our home, we have cancer, we got laid-off, we were robbed at gunpoint, or a tornado hit our house. It's not personal, it’s random. The belief that life is random may be unsettling, but it can be emotionally liberating; bad things happen for the same reason anything happens. Accepting randomness frees us from excessive self-blame and once we remove self-blame, we can get on with our lives.

Remember that old equation: “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond.”

"Your only true security in life
is your ability to perform."

About the Author

Robert Stevenson is an expert at building a high-performance business culture, improving efficiency, and accelerating growth. He is one of the most widely sought-after speakers in the world today, as well as a best-selling author. He has owned five companies, sold internationally in over 20 countries. Robert has spoken to over 2,500 companies throughout the world and his research in the area of corporate and entrepreneurial success is extensive. Over 2 million people have benefitted from his powerful, practical, and thought-provoking programs. He is a true master at blending facts, inspiration, conviction, and humor into all his programs.

Companies like FedEx, Prudential, Lockheed Martin, Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, American Express, and Berkshire Hathaway continue to rely on him for a fresh, unique perspective on businesses’ most crucial issues. To learn more about Robert and what he can do for your team visit his website at

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